Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) or neutralizing antibodies can protect against RSV infection when induced separately by immunization with synthetic peptides. In the work described here, RSV-specific neutralizing antibodies and CTLs were induced after immunization with a cocktail of peptides consisting of a B-cell mimotope (S1S-MAP), a T-helper epitope (SH:45-60) and a CTL epitope linked to a fusion (F) peptide (F/M2:81-95) that were comparable to those induced by the peptides alone. Following challenge, a 190-fold reduction in RSV titre was observed in the lungs of peptide cocktail-immunized mice. The combination of RSV-specific humoral and cellular immunity induced by the peptide cocktail was thus more effective at clearing RSV than peptide-induced humoral or cellular immunity alone.


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